Caludon Castle: a moated site and part of an associated water management system


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Ordnance survey map of Caludon Castle: a moated site and part of an associated water management system
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Coventry (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SP 37359 80138

Reasons for Designation

Around 6,000 moated sites are known in England. They consist of wide ditches, often or seasonally water-filled, partly or completely enclosing one or more islands of dry ground on which stood domestic or religious buildings. In some cases the islands were used for horticulture. The majority of moated sites served as prestigious aristocratic and seigneurial residences with the provision of a moat intended as a status symbol rather than a practical military defence. The peak period during which moated sites were built was between about 1250 and 1350 and by far the greatest concentration lies in central and eastern parts of England. However, moated sites were built throughout the medieval period, are widely scattered throughout England and exhibit a high level of diversity in their forms and sizes. They form a significant class of medieval monument and are important for the understanding of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples provide conditions favourable to the survival of organic remains.

Caludon Castle is a well preserved example of a moated site together with an associated water management system. The moated site will retain structural and artefactual evidence for both the original house which existed here from the end of the 12th century, for the later rebuilding and additions in the mid- 14th century, and for the additions made during the early post-medieval period. The moat ditches and the sample section of the floor of the pool will retain both artefactual and environmental information regarding the occupation of Caludon Castle and for the economy of its inhabitants as well as the landscape in which it was set. Additionally the existence of the pool to the north of the moated site provides evidence for the wider setting of the house, and thus an insight into the way in which the wealth and social status of its occupants in the medieval and early post-medieval periods was made manifest. The interest of Caludon Castle is enhanced by the survival of contemporary documentary records which relate to the site's ownership and the buildings that existed here. As a monument which is open to the public, Caludon Castle serves as a valuable educational and recreational resource.


The monument is situated within a public recreation area on the eastern outskirts of Coventry and includes the ruins, earthwork and buried remains of the moated site known as Caludon Castle and part of its associated water management system. At the end of the 12th century the Earl of Chester granted Caludon to Stephen de Segrave. He is believed to have been responsible for erecting the first house at the site and was granted a licence to crenallate it in 1305. Following the death of John, Lord Seagrave in 1353, Caludon passed to his daughter and her husband John de Mowbray, who are thought to have obtained a further licence in 1354 and rebuilt the original house. Caludon Castle fell into disrepair towards the end of the 14th century when Thomas Mowbray, the Earl of Norfolk, was banished by Richard II. In c.1580 the house was rebuilt by Lord Berkeley and further structural additions were made by the Berkeleys during the early 17th century. In 1631 Caludon was sold to Thomas Morgan, but it was abandoned shortly after. The site was reoccupied from the 18th century onwards when Caludon House was constructed within the eastern part of the moated island. This former farmhouse was demolished in the 1960s. The moated site has external dimensions of 80m north to south and approximately 100m east to west. The moat ditches are now dry and are up to 15m wide. The eastern moat ditch has been infilled, perhaps towards the end of the 18th century, prior to the construction of Caludon House in order to provide easier access. The infilled moat ditch will survive as a buried feature and is included in the scheduling. There is a causeway across the northern arm of the moat which is shown on the 1835 Ordnance Survey map, but documentary records indicate that the original access onto the moated island was via a bridge. The moated island is raised above the surrounding ground surface and is approximately 0.4ha in area. In the northern half of the island, aligned with the northern moat arm, is a length of standing masonry which is 2m thick, 10m high and 12.5m long. Constructed of ashlar blocks of grey sandstone with red sandstone dressings, it represents the north wall of a building which occupied this part of the moated island. The wall contains two decorated windows with fragments of mid-14th century tracery of cinque foil form, which are believed to have belonged to a first floor hall. Jambs of similar windows form the two ends of the standing masonry, indicating that the hall was at least four bays in length. Beneath the complete windows are those of an undercroft, between which are the remains of a flue which rises through the thickness of the wall. Medieval documentary records indicate that a tile covered building of four bays which was located on the moated island was damaged in 1385 and the standing masonry is thought to represent its remains. It would thus date from Caludon Castle's rebuilding under licence in 1354. It is Listed Grade I and is included in the scheduling. There is no surface evidence for the 16th and 17th century structural additions to Caludon Castle but they will survive as buried features on the moated island. The area immediately to the north of the moated site, although now dry, was a pool, extending over an area of approximately 5ha to the north and north west of Caludon Castle. The earthwork remains of the pool's retaining banks are visible to the west and north east of the moated site. The north eastern bank is a substantial earthwork and map evidence indicates that it has also served as the approach road to the moated site from at least the early 19th century. The retaining bank to the west has been much reduced in height but can be traced as a slight earthwork running westwards from the northern end of the western moat ditch for approximately 80m before it terminates against the modern housing development. Both of the retaining banks, together with a 10m wide sample section of the floor of the pool adjacent to the banks and the northern moat ditch, are included in the scheduling to provide evidence of the relationship between the pool and Caludon Castle itself. Approximately 110m to the south of Caludon Castle are the earthwork remains of a second moated site which is the subject of a separate scheduling. The surface of the access road, and the modern building at the south eastern corner of the site are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Salter, M, The Castles and Moated Mansions of the West Midlands, (1989), 47
Tomlinson, M, The Victoria History of the County of Warwickshire, (1969), 122
Tomlinson, M, The Victoria History of the County of Warwickshire, (1969), 121


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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